Left to right top: Rusty Miller, Nicole Thungen
Left to right bottom: Sue King, Alexandra Kemp-Thompson
Sue King instructs equestrian students in eventing, a new area of focus for the program. Eventing includes the disciplines of dressage, cross-country and show jumping. King has competed in and taught three-day eventing for 30 years. She graduated from Wittenburg University in Springfield, Ohio, and holds a master’s degree in education from Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y. After building multiple programs around the country, King looks forward to creating the eventing program at The University of Findlay.
Nicole Thüngen was recruited in 2014 to teach at the James F. Child Equestrian center as Director of the English Riding Program at University of Findlay. She holds a Master Degree in Equine Sciences, based on her completion of the German Equestrian Master Program, her official title being “Pferdewirtschaftsmeisterin FN”.
She graduated Best of Class from the Deutsche Reitschule in Warendorf, Germany, which is one of very few internationally accredited and governmentally regulated, world wide approved equine educational institutions in the world.
Nicole has won many dressage events herself, while also coaching students ride their horses to receive USDF bronze, silver and gold medals, not to forget countless other exquisite awards in all disciplines of the classical riding tradition. Nicole has been on horseback since she was 6 years old and was lucky to be mentored, trained and to work with national trainers during her career.
She is strongly focused on teaching and training, her goal being a healthy, correct, and happy human/equine interaction. Nicole’s style of teaching stems from years of close experiences with thousands of horses, and countless hours of instruction and training her students in all disciplines. Her extensive training reaches very deep and very far into the equine industry, from barn management to equine nutrition, rider & horse training and rehabilitation, to successfully running branches of equestrian business. Her education is very unique for a US University, as the depth of her studies is currently not available in USA. Nicole has been active as a Bereiter FN since 1996, added her Master Trainer FN in 2001 and is very pleased to share her expertise with current and future students at UF. She is no stranger to Grand Prix level training, and has credentials to train and ride Olympic disciplines.
Rusty Miller opened Rusty Miller Show Horses immediately after graduating from the University of Findlay in 1984 with a B.S. in Equestrian Studies. He has been training, coaching, and showing within multiple breed associations ever since. In 2008, Rusty was awarded the coveted Appaloosa Horse Club Trainer of the Year. This accomplishment was a validation to his success with his clients winning over 130+ National and World Championships, while personally earning over 40+ World and National Championships.
In addition to the ApHC, Miller has involvement with several other breed associations including the American Paint Horse Association, the Palomino Horse Breeders Association and the American Quarter Horse Association too. Over the years, he has won numerous World and Reserve World Champions in the Paint Horse Association and Palomino Horse Breeders Association. He has trained and coached exhibitors to multiple Reserve Championship titles and numerous Top 10 placing’s at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, along with Year End High Point awards within the AQHA.
Most recently, Rusty has returned to the University as an English Riding Instructor. He arrives with commitment and enthusiasm while allowing his education and experience to help students reach their goals within the Equine Industry.
A native of Ottawa, Ontario, Alexandra Kemp-Thompson grew up riding under Adam Hickey, Grand Prix rider and one of Ottawa’s top hunter/jumper trainers. Adam taught her the foundations of equitation, as well as giving her the tools to ride all different types of horses. In 2012, Alexandra spent her summer working as a full-time groom for Top Rail Stables professionals Jeremy Feenstra & Natalie Bova in Toronto, ON. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in International Organization and her Bachelor of Science in Marketing & Human Resources at Seton Hill University, Alexandra continued her education with a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing at Tiffin University. From 2013-2015 Alexandra worked as the graduate assistance coach for the Tiffin University varsity equestrian team.
Alexandra fostered her passion for the equestrian sport while completing her college degree. She was a four-year started for the Seton Hill University NCAA division II, IHSA varsity equestrian team. A co-captain her sophomore year, she competed at 41 collegiate competitions over 4 years for the Lady Griffins, including three Regional appearances, three Zone finals, and one National Championship. In 2012, Alexandra was both Zone 6 Open Equitation Over Fences and Open Equitation on the Flat Champion. At the 2012 IHSA National Championship she represented Zone 6 Region 5 as the Highpoint Cacchione Cup rider and placed 7th in the nation in the Open Equitation Over Fences division. She was also awarded IHSA All-Academic Honors three times, the WVIAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll in both 2012 and 2013, as well as the Division II Athletic Directors Association Academic Achievement Award as a senior.
In the spring of 2015, Alexandra began functioning as a working student under Sarah Robertson and Tim Sullivan of Oakland Hill Farm, in Oakland, MI. Alexandra spent countless hours shadowing Sarah, and Tim. She was quickly recognized for her vast knowledge of the equestrian sport, her foundation in equitation, and her professionalism and work ethic. Since September 2015, Alexandra has worked as a trainer for SMR Equestrian out of Ringside Equestrian Center LLC in New Hudson, MI.
Alexandra is passionate about working with college students, and is looking forward to working as the newest University of Findlay hunter/jumper instructor, as well as assisting in coaching the nationally ranked IHSA hunt seat team.